Military Type Aircraft Operations Update
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St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport

To the Residents of Feather Sound:

On the weekend of October 13-14, 2007, the Office of Noise Affairs at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (Airport) received a number of noise complaints as a result of transient military aircraft, specifically two U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier fighter jets.  These military jets are best known for their vertical takeoff and landing capability and are sometimes nicknamed “jump jets.”

The Harriers arrived unannounced on Saturday, October 13th, at approximately 8:00 p.m., departed at 8:45 p.m., later returned around 10:45 p.m., and subsequently left the following day.  Since this type of aircraft does not require a long runway to land, they landed at 10:45 p.m. using east/west Runway 09-27, flying directly over noise sensitive communities.  The Airport’s Office of Noise Affairs has contacted the Harriers’ squadron to voice concerns about these types of operations over noise sensitive areas.

In addition to the Harrier flights, there have been recent noise concerns about the blue, white, and silver jets referred to as “F-104 Starfighters”.  As reported in the April 18, 2007 edition of the St. Petersburg Times, the “Starfighters” were recently awarded a contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to conduct high speed altitude tests at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  The “Starfighters” eventually plan to leave the Airport and permanently relocate to the Space Center; however an exact date has not been determined. 

Regretfully, we have no authority to be able to curtail military flights or restrict use of our runways to certain types of aircraft or times of day.  We continue our proactive efforts to curtail aircraft noise through the implementation of our new “Fly Friendly Program”.  The “Fly Friendly Program” is designed to help educate pilots on how to minimize impacts over noise sensitive communities.  Updates on noise compliance initiatives can be found on the Airport’s noise website at http://www.fly2PIE.com/noise.

Please feel free to contact Jon Collette, Officer of Noise Affairs, at 453-7880, for more information or if you have any questions or concerns.